So far, so good. Fair and balanced. But I have questions that nobody in the media seems to be asking. I sent them to Stan Finger, author of the article in the Wichita Eagle:
Dear Mr. Finger:
You did an excellent job covering the basics in your story of the controversy surrounding Christin Gilbert's abortion death. But I have some unanswered questions.
Kansas law forbids post-viability abortions except to preserve the mother's life or health. The medical board cleared Tiller of any wrongdoing in choosing to use an outpatient abortion method to remove a fetus who could have been delivered live by c-section in any maternity ward near Christin's home. Tiller allegedly had another physician's concurrence that this abortion was somehow necessary to preserve Christin's life or health. Nothing in Christin's autopsy report indicates that she had any health problem other than the post-abortion sepsis that killed her.
1. What exactly was the problem that required taking this young woman out-of-state for an abortion in an outpatient facility, rather than delivering the baby alive in a fully-equipped hospital? In what way did Tiller assert that this was done to preserve Christin's health? (I'm a little confused as to how terminating a pregnancy in an outpatient setting, with the patient spending most of her time in a motel, is safer than terminating the pregnancy in a fully-equipped hospital.)
2. Who was the doctor who signed the paperwork concurring that Christin's life and health would be better preserved by doing a third-trimester, post-viability abortion in an outpatient setting, rather than doing a routine c-section in a fully equipped hospital?
These are questions that surely have arisen in the minds of journalists covering the case, but I've not seen any signs that these questions are even being asked, much less answered.
Thanks again for the good job on the article,
If this Stan Finger guy is a real journalist, he'll start poking around and asking these questions himself. And since he did such a balanced story in the first place, he obviously has basic journalistic integrity. The question is, how much journalistic drive to get the meat of the story does he have? (And, of course, to what extent will his editor let him go after this story?)
Let's pray for Stan Finger, that he be free to follow this story to its roots, and for his editor, that he allow his reporter to do a thorough job investigating this.